News and Notes

Hope for the Future: The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act Will Soon Be Introduced

Originally posted by Wildlands Network, available here.

Hope for biodiversity, even in dark times

“The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would provide the most important step of any single piece of legislation at the present time in enlarging the nations protected areas and thereby saving large swaths of America’s wildlife and other fauna and flora, especially in this critical time of climate change and shifting locations of the original environments in which a large part of biodiversity has existed.” — Dr. E.O. Wilson

A year ago this week, Wildlands Network joined Dr. E.O. Wilson in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Half-Earth Day. Dr. Wilson had recently published the book Half-Earth, Our Planet’s Fight for Life, where he argues that if we can preserve 50% of the planet, we can save 85% of the world’s biodiversity. It is a daunting task, but one that is achievable and provides us with a hopeful vision of the future where wild animals and humans coexist.

(left to right) Sen. Udall, Dr. E.O. Wilson, facilitator Andrea Seabrook, and Rep. Beyer. Photo: Peter Hershey

Dr. Wilson had come in part to talk about the role wildlife corridors could play in protecting Half-Earth and specifically the importance of a bill that is set to be introduced in Congress in the next few weeks, The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. I had arranged to have Dr. Wilson speak with the bill’s lead sponsors, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) on stage at the U.S. Capitol Auditorium.  We had invited congressional staff and the public to attend, but I was nervous about how many would come. The room seats 450 people. What if we only got 50 or 100?

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have worried. The room was packed, and it was clear then, as it today, that both Congress and the public are hungry for positive, proactive solutions to protecting biodiversity on a scale designed to tackle this immense problem.

Find out how here.